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Witness: Woman Survived Being Crushed By 50-foot Tree, But She Was Killed After Botched Rescue [Updated]

Photo by AA(Noname) via Flickr
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A woman was killed by a eucalyptus tree in a center divider that fell onto her car, while she was at a stoplight in Costa Mesa this afternoon.

A witness told ABC 7 that the woman was alive and talking to other witnesses at the scene, after the tree crushed her car. But the witness said that the woman was crushed a second time — and apparently killed — when firefighters tried to lift the tree off the vehicle and dropped it on the car a second time.

"When they went to lift it, it might have been too heavy, and it just dropped back down and crushed the car even more," she said. "It got more smaller, it was just terrible."

It's not clear from initial reports whether the woman drove into the tree or whether it was a freak accident and the 50-foot tree fell on its own. Authorities are warning people to stay away from the Irvine Avenue and Westcliff Drive intersection where the tree fell, while authorities remove the tree and interview witnesses.

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Records show the car is registered to Haeyoon Miller, 29, according to L.A. Now.

UPDATE 09/16/11: Firefighters: Rescuers Trying to Save Woman Crushed to Death By Tree Did Not Drop Trunk On Victim During Rescue